Surgeon General Dr. Adams speaks out on the coronavirus

Surgeon General Dr. Adams says “good old fashioned hand washing” is the best way to prevent the coronavirus.
2:58 | 03/08/20

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Transcript for Surgeon General Dr. Adams speaks out on the coronavirus
I think it's important for Americans to know that when we look at the data that's coming in. 80% of people who actually get the corona virus. Actually. Don't need advanced medical attention they they they do well they don't need hospitalization. And so what we're really doing is focusing in on the 20%. Who wind up needing hospitalization. Needing advanced an intensive care and of that subgroup we know that the elderly and people with. Medical conditions heart disease lung disease people who have had cancer are the ones who end up going on to have the most severe symptoms. And so we're focusing in on making sure those people are protecting themselves but I want Americans to know that for most people out there even if you do get the corona virus. Here you're likely to to have symptoms that are no worse than a colder mild flu and that the rest for most Americans right now still remains low. While the president fed earlier that people who need to be tested. Will be tested I've been in Connecticut earlier this weakening Connecticut the state lab is testing and they have excess capacity I spoke with the Georgia. State health officer today for quite awhile. And they did thirty test yesterday they have the capacity. To do more we know every state lab has the ability now to do testing and next week we expect that there will be up to a million. Are more test available through partnerships with private industry. When we look at the data that's emerging across the that the planet we know that the average age of people who were dying from corona virus is around eighty. We know the average age of people who were getting severe symptoms is around sixty years of age. And that's where that recommendation came front we may change in the future but right now. The best evidence we have suggests that people over sixty year at risk and again people who have medical conditions are most at risk. Well I'll tell you the best treatment. It's actually good old fashioned hand washing this is a respiratory virus we know the basic public health measures are going to be the most effective things that we can do. It's actually prevent the spread of disease covering your cough or sneeze. Washing your hands for twenty seconds with open water. And if you are in one of those high risk groups we recommend you really think about. Whether or not you're going to be involved in large gatherings whether or not you're going to put yourself in a situation where you might be exposed to the corona virus. The death rate is dependent on the type of medical care that you can get if you are diagnosed with a room buyers the death rate for Ebola for instance. Is much higher in Africa than what headed for patients who were brought to the United States. We know that in the United States. We have the best medical care in the world. And the death rate right now and places that have medical care equivalent to the United States is. About buyout by estimates right now. Closer to the death rate for the pollute them for diseases like SARS and martyrs which we have successfully managed in the past.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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